JOHANNESBURG – The new poultry sector master plan unveiled by trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel this week is a welcome blueprint to propel the industry ahead, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) said on Thursday.
The poultry industry has committed R1.5 billion towards the objectives of the plan, which was developed through negotiations between itself, the government, and stakeholders including farmers, processors, exporters, poultry importers and labour unions to create a framework for growth and sustainability.
“The process canvassed strategic inputs from all the relevant players, and it is to the credit of ministers Patel and Thoko Didiza (agriculture) that for the first time, we have a blueprint to take the industry forward,” said Izaak Breitenbach, general manager of SAPA’s Broiler Organisation.
South Africa’s chicken industry has been beset by numerous challenges in recent years, including the cost of feed, barriers to exports as well as rising imports, mainly of bone-in chicken portions, from Brazil, the European Union and the United States.
Trade figures show that imports of broiler meat alone have increased by 73 percent over the past five years, which industry officials say has caused job losses and prevented the sector from expanding and transforming to meet growing consumer demand for chicken.